I was shocked when I got the email from Jane Gaffin this afternoon telling me that Aaron Zelman of the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) had passed away on December 21st, 2010. It was like being gut-punched, not because I knew Aaron well... I didn't.
We'd corresponded many times over the years about our common issue, and I'd had a lot of fun writing for one of his contests, "Bullets to Save Ballots", where I had the great honour of winning 1st Honourable Mention for my article Alternate Endings: Recollections of Life Under a Constitutional Government. That piece was such fun to write, and I think I submitted it more on a lark than anything, just because it was so much fun to write. If memory serves, even Jane and I had agreed it would never go anywhere, but that I should submit it anyway!
No, I felt gut-punched because I'd just learned that we had just lost an incredible defender of our God-given right to keep and bear arms for our defense.
Aaron was nothing if not driven to prevent another genocide from happening in the world, and he believed that "gun control" was the gateway drug of genocide.
In his amazing documentary Innocents Betrayed, he proved this. He was the first that I'm aware of that documented every genocide that was committed in the 20th century, and their roots in "gun control". Nowhere in the world had genocide been committed where it had not been preceded by the taking away of firearms from the civilian population.
Aaron managed to find ways to do the unthinkable, the impossible. When everyone said that it couldn't be done, he found a way to finance his masterpiece of historical reporting, Innocents Betrayed, the documentary that inspired me to begin making my own documentaries about "gun control" here in Canada.
His proving that it could be done on a shoestring and still be done professionally was a great inspiration to me, and led me to learn everything I know about creating documentaries and promotional videos that educate people about the reality of "gun control" and the impact of bad gun laws on the average person here in Canada.
It's fitting that Katey Montague is visiting this week and that we're filming a bunch more videos for her KateysFirearmsFacts YouTube channel, her website and, most importantly, to raise awareness of the Ontario government's attempted seizure of the Montague family home using laws that were supposed to be used on drug dealers and gangs.
If it hadn't been for Aaron Zelman's determination and dedication to create that first documentary, Innocents Betrayed, I probably never would have made any of my documentaries on Canada's Firearms Act, nor would I have been able to help Katey Montague with her Katey's Firearms Facts video series.
You know, it's odd sometimes how the passing of one man can make you take stock of your own life and see just how huge an impact that person, now gone, has had.
There have been lots of people who've made an impact on my life, as I'm sure there have been in yours, but for me it's really easy to look back at the night where the idea of doing documentaries on Canada's gun control scheme came into being. And how it was all Aaron's fault!
Clive Edwards and I were sitting in Clive's living room. We'd just finished watching Innocents Betrayed. We'd both donated funds to help Aaron get it made, so we were thrilled to finally get the opportunity to watch the finished product.
When it was over, Clive turned to me and said, "You know, somebody needs to do that for the fight here in Canada." (Or something like that.)
Then he said, "Christopher, I think you should do it."
I didn't have a clue about filming or editing or anything else that it takes to create a documentary. But seeing how Aaron had been able to pull it off with Innocents Betrayed just made the whole idea seem possible.
Less than a year later my first documentary, Good Men vs. Bad Law was finished.
His dedication and determination was an inspiration to me, and I'm sure countless others as well.
He will be missed as this battle of ours, this battle for freedom, wages on.
Rest in Peace Aaron Zelman. God Bless you and especially God Bless your family as they mourn your loss and figure out how to carry on your work without you.
You will be missed, but your inspiration will live on... and for that I'm grateful.